Dear Janice, I have a great relationship with my girlfriend, and I am so happy to have her in my life. The only really annoying habit she has is that she is constantly late. No matter how much notice I give her, or how much time she has on her hands, she is still late.

I arrive to pick her up and end up sitting about for ages until she is ready. Or, if I am meeting her in a bar, I sit on my own until she eventually appears.

She seems organised in every other aspect of her life except this, but she just doesn’t seem to understand how annoying and frustrating it is for me. When I ask why she is late, she just laughs it off and says that she has always been this way. I don’t find it amusing at all, but I keep quiet as I don’t want to start our time together with an atmosphere.

What else can I say to make her take this issue seriously? James.

Dear James, I think you’ve said it all to be honest. People are late for many reasons. If it is an odd occasion it wouldn’t be an issue, but if it is continual and it’s because she is watching Netflix, then that’s another matter.

The key to solving this issue (if you can), is finding out why she is late.Some believe they can fit in more tasks than they have time for and try to do “one more thing”, which makes them late. Some people fail to plan properly. Some people just never check the time, and some people are simply indifferent to the effect this habit has on other people.

You could always be late too and give her a taste of her own medicine, but you might get to the point that it’s too late to go out!

Next time, clearly point out to her that you don’t find it funny and that you are genuinely upset at her tardiness. Tell her your time is precious too and that you could be doing something more constructive than waiting in the side-lines for her. Ask her to come up with a solution as to how she can resolve this. If she can’t change this habit of a lifetime, then perhaps you need to accept this as one of her flaws. After all, she seems to tick every other box.

Dear Janice, I know my husband loves me, but when I ask him outright to say it, he just replies “you know I do”. I used to feel a million dollars when he told me this, especially out of the blue, but now it never happens. What do you think his problem is? Anne.

Dear Anne, I don’t think he has a problem, but I think you do. A man needs a woman’s belief in him, and constantly asking him to say he loves you is undermining that belief. So stop.

One man may not be outwardly romantic or loving, and another man might be the opposite, but does this mean one loves his partner more than the other? Absolutely not.

I suspect you love a good rom-com movie which is fine, but these are based more on fiction than reality. You know he loves you, which is more than many can say. Be content with what you have.

Dear Janice, I have worked hard all my life and have finally paid off my mortgage. However, since being made redundant I don’t have a lot of spare cash which is hindering me from doing things I always wanted to do (I’m divorced and single).

My friend suggested that I release equity from my home to help with my cash flow issues. I ran this idea past my son, and he seemed less than pleased.

Then my daughter-in-law asked what I was planning to spend MY money on! The atmosphere between us since this chat has been rather frosty to say the least. My son has taken on a huge mortgage which he struggles with every month, so I understand he may be hoping I have money to leave him.

I now think it would be easier all round if I just put the idea out of my head, for now anyway, but what can I do to afford what I want, and keep them happy at the same time? Mary.

Dear Mary, firstly it was their decision to opt for an expensive mortgage, and if they decided to commit to something out with their income in the hope that you would pop your clogs soon, then that was either a very misjudged decision, or a very callous one. Either way, you owe them nothing. Find yourself a reputable financial adviser who can discuss the pros and cons of equity release and weigh up your options. If all seems to be in order, then I certainly would consider releasing some cash to ease your financial burden. And, if it would make you feel better, you could compromise and release a larger sum of money, some of which you could gift to your son to help with his finances.

Mary, you are single and have worked hard all your life, so make sure every day you have left on this planet is an enjoyable one.

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